June 22, 2018 / 9:51 PM / a year ago

USOC close to naming new chief

(Reuters) - The United States Olympic Committee is close to naming a new chief executive officer with an announcement expected in the coming weeks, officials said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: December 16, 2014; Redwood City, CA, USA; USOC chairman Larry Probst addresses the media in a press conference following the USOC board of directors meeting at Hotel Sofitel San Francisco. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports/ File Photo

The USOC has been looking for a CEO since the departure of Scott Blackmun, who resigned in February following months of criticism stemming from the sex abuse scandal involving former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

Last year Nassar was convicted of molesting gymnasts in incidents dating as far back as the 1990s and was sentenced to an effective life term in prison.

Blackmun cited health issues as the reason for his resignation, which set off the hunt for his replacement.

“We are making progress as we go through this process, and we think we are getting close to the end,” Larry Probst, USOC chairman, told reporters on a call following a board meeting Friday in Washington, D.C.

“We hope to have this wrapped up in a couple of weeks, potentially less.”

Acting CEO Susanne Lyons said the results of an independent investigation into the handling of the scandal will likely be complete by the end of the summer.

She said there is also likely to be another Senate committee hearing into the scandal in the next few weeks.

Lyons said it was a period of “transition and evolution” for the USOC.

“We’ve had an opportunity through the difficulties that we’ve faced through the recent sexual abuse scandals to really look in the mirror and decide how we should interact with our national governing body partners and athletes.”

Lyons praised the work of Kerry Perry, who became the president and CEO of USA Gymnastics in December, but said changing the underlying culture that allowed Nassar to commit his crimes will take time.

“We need to have a culture that does not make it difficult for people to speak up. Not a culture of retribution, not a culture in which there is protection of others who are accused,” she said.

“So I think there is a strong awareness and knowledge that that’s what needs to change. How that happens over time is a much longer-term process.”

“We believe (Perry’s) made a lot of good first steps but there is quite a long way to go.”

USA Gymnastics is in the process of seating a new permanent board, which is expected to be in place in July.

Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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